The Marital Privilege in Nevada
(Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers)

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Confidential communications between husband and wife

The spousal privilege exists to protect confidential communications made between a husband and wife. In Nevada, the husband-wife privilege is set forth in NRS 49.225. NRS 49.225(1) provides:

  • A husband cannot be examined as a witness for or against his wife without his consent, nor a wife for or against her husband without her consent.
  • Neither a husband nor a wife can be examined, during the marriage or afterwards, without the consent of the other, as to any communication made by one to the other during marriage.1

Exceptions to the spousal privilege in Nevada

The marital privilege does not apply to:

  • Criminal events which took place before the husband and wife were married;
  • Civil proceedings brought by or on behalf of one spouse against the other spouse;
  • Involuntary commit proceedings;
  • Proceeding brought by or on behalf of a spouse to establish his or her competence; or
  • Juvenile, family or criminal court proceedings in which a spouse is charged with:
    • Domestic violence,
    • Child neglect,
    • A crime against the spouse or a child,
    • Bigamy or incest, or
    • A crime related to abandonment of a child or nonsupport of the other spouse or child.2

There is an additional, limited exception for events which occurred during a spouse's insanity, if the spouse has been declared insane by a court of competent jurisdiction.3

However, once the party declared insane has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be of sound mind, the usual spousal privileges are reinstated.

Arrested for a crime in Nevada? Call us for help…

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If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, our caring Las Vegas, Nevada criminal defense lawyers may be able to help. We also defend clients charged with crimes in Reno and elsewhere in Clark and Washoe Counties.

To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) or fill out the form on this page. We will get back to you promptly to discuss your case and begin planning the best defense to your Nevada criminal charges.

To learn about communications between married people in California, please see our article on California's marital privilege.


Legal references:

  1. NRS 49.225 (1).
  2. NRS 49.225 (2) and (3).
  3. NRS 49.305.

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